Garden Photo of the Day

Margot’s Winter Garden

A collection of early bloomers

purple flowers blooming in early spring

Today we’re off to Washington State to visit with Margot Navarre.

I live in Bellevue, Washington, and wanted to share a few pictures of my winter garden. I am a year-round home gardener and work part-time in estate gardens. I also walk dogs and sell wine. I have found a way to get paid for all the things I enjoy. I adore the snowdrops, cyclamens, and spring ephemerals. My front garden is full of little treasures; we have a woodland garden in the back of the house that has year-round interest and is home to many birds and native plants.

Snowdrops (Galanthus, Zones 3–7) blooms in front of a carpet of Cyclamen hederifolium (ivy-leaved cyclamen, Zones 5–9). This hardy cyclamen blooms in the fall and then shows off beautiful silver-and-green-patterned foliage all through the winter and spring before going dormant for the summer.

winter cyclamen in a container arrangementCyclamen coum (winter cyclamen, Zones 5–8) has beautiful leaves as well, and it blooms in late winter to early spring. Leaves range from solid silver to complex patterns of silver and green, and flowers range from white to dark pink. Here, two plants show off in a container so you can easily get up close to appreciate the detail of their foliage and flowers.

Cyclamen and crocus intwinedCyclamen coum is joined by a clump of early crocuses (Crocus tommasinianus, Zones 3–8) to make a colorful display in early spring.

purple flowers blooming in early springAnother cluster of crocuses is showing off, with the smaller but abundant blooms of Crocus tommasinianus mixing with the larger flowers of Crocus vernus (Zones 3–8). Both are essential flowers of any early spring garden as long as you can keep the squirrels and other rodents from feasting on their bulbs.

early spring gardenIn the garden in early spring, snowdrops and crocuses are flowering, and clumps of primroses (Primula hybrids, Zones 3–7) are loaded up with flower buds about to burst into bloom.

snowdrops, cyclamen, and hellebores growing in the gardenSnowdrops and cyclamen are backed up by another stalwart of the late-winter/early spring garden—hellebores (Helleborus hybrids, Zones 4–9).

Big Eyes snowdropsSnowdrop lovers collect special varieties with particularly showy flowers or beautiful patterns. This is the variety ‘Big Eyes’ (Galanthus ‘Big Eyes’, Zones 3–7), which is a hybrid selected for the large flowers and named for the little face the green pattern on the inner petals makes.


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View Comments


  1. SueMccreary 03/18/2021

    Beautiful flowers to greet you in early spring. I'm curious as to how long it took for the fall cyclamen to spread in your garden? We've started it in our woods about 3 years ago and it is slow to take hold and spread. We were inspired on a trip to the Cotswolds where we saw it growing freely under huge old trees.
    Thank you for sharing your garden. Inspiring and great planning to have blooms this time of year.

    1. margotnavarre 03/18/2021

      I rescued a lot of cyclamen from a garden so this helped make it look so grand. I have a lot of cyclamen in my woodland garden but they don’t stand out as much because they are in various places and not overlapping like in the front garden.

  2. gardendevas 03/18/2021

    Inspiring, indeed! How lovely and lush and colorful. Those crocus!! These past few years I am working to include more flowers for spring interest, but it will be a while to to approach this abundance. And how wonderful to get to do what you love!

    1. margotnavarre 03/18/2021

      Thank you

  3. coastalgardener 03/18/2021

    Such inspiring photos! I'm so happy to see all of these precursors to spring and to know that the gardening season is underway once again.

    1. margotnavarre 03/18/2021

      Thank you for all the wonderful comments!

  4. User avater
    simplesue 03/18/2021

    Wow! If that's your "winter garden" I'd love to see your "summer garden"!
    So full of life and color, very pretty!

  5. User avater
    treasuresmom 03/18/2021

    Love spring bulbs. Just wish they loved me back.

  6. User avater
    user-7007816 03/18/2021

    What a lovely spring garden. Congratulations on a job well done.

  7. User avater
    bdowen 03/18/2021

    Love your crocuses. The squirrels and chipmunks have cleared out most of mine but your photos might inspire me to try to plant some again next fall. Agree with SimpleSue- would love to see the other seasons in your garden. Lovely!

  8. perennialgrdnr_z4b 03/18/2021

    Thank you for sharing your lovely late winter/early spring garden. This is my kind of garden, as I have also had good luck naturalizing Hellebores and Galanthus, and other spring flowering bulbs. I have now tried adding some Cyclamens. They all just bloom a bit later in spring, as they must patiently wait for all of our snow to finally melt. I'd also like to see more of your garden. Well done.

  9. btucker9675 03/18/2021

    So beautiful! Sure do envy your cyclamen - have never had any luck with them but find them so lovely. Your garden is delightful.

  10. PG20 03/18/2021

    Beautiful. Love the hellebores and primrose.
    I also work as a gardener but add in walking pups and selling wine makes me think I’d be living my best life!

    1. margotnavarre 03/18/2021


  11. joe_green_thumb 03/18/2021

    Thanks for sharing your garden. I love the cyclamens and the snowdrop with the face. I have cyclamens and snowdrops too, but not the one with the face. I may have to order that one. I live in Newcastle, Wa. We are almost neighbors.

    1. margotnavarre 03/22/2021

      Yes, almost neighbors. We should plan a snowdrop visit next season.

  12. User avater
    cynthia2020 03/18/2021

    Hi, Margot. I like how you got down low for the Photo of the Day - gorgeous group of crocus. I also enjoyed the vignette of the cyclamen in the container on the painted brick with the snow in the background.

  13. bsavage 03/18/2021

    So lovely!!!

  14. Maggieat11 03/18/2021

    Thank you for sharing your lovely photos. So beautiful. I LOVE the combination of the two varieties of crocus! I need to try that!😉 Your gardens are gorgeous!🍃

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